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fw: cooperatives and how they run

updated wed 12 may 04

 

Joan Millette on tue 11 may 04


----- Original Message -----=20
From: Joan Millette=20
To: Ceramic Arts Discussion List=20
Cc: joan millette=20
Sent: Saturday, May 08, 2004 10:57 AM
Subject: cooperatives and how they run


I have been a member of a cooperative gallery in Wilmington, NC. for a =
few years. We have obligations on committees, time at the desk and a =
30% commission on sales. Last year the steering committee decided to =
add a charge of $24 a year for publicity without a cooperative vote. =
Now they want to raise it to $40. Have any of you experienced these =
charges in you orgaization? What is the effect of advertising do you =
think? I would appreciate your taking time to reply. Thank you
joanmillette@charter.net

Sue Beach on tue 11 may 04


The co-op I belong to charges A) $50/month + 8-10 hrs/month working the gallery
OR B) $65/mon or 30% whichever is greater but no working in the gallery. Any
additional fees/surcharges are voted on by the whole membership. So far (2+
years) those have been few.

Sue Beach
Muncie, IN
USA

Quoting Joan Millette :

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Joan Millette
> To: Ceramic Arts Discussion List
> Cc: joan millette
> Sent: Saturday, May 08, 2004 10:57 AM
> Subject: cooperatives and how they run
>
>
> I have been a member of a cooperative gallery in Wilmington, NC. for a few
> years. We have obligations on committees, time at the desk and a 30%
> commission on sales. Last year the steering committee decided to add a
> charge of $24 a year for publicity without a cooperative vote. Now they want
> to raise it to $40. Have any of you experienced these charges in you
> orgaization? What is the effect of advertising do you think? I would
> appreciate your taking time to reply. Thank you
> joanmillette@charter.net
>
> ______________________________________________________________________________
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clay.music on tue 11 may 04


I belong to Womancraft co-op in Chapel Hill, NC. Full co-op members are
required to work one shift per week, usually 4 hours, pay dues of $20. per
month, serve on a committee, and the store takes a 33% commission on work
sold.

For years the deal was $35.00 per year dues and 25% commission. Several
years ago we moved, not totally by our choice to a much higher rent space.
Hence higher dues and fees. Advertising is imperative. The caveat with that
is to understand who your customer is and what advertising vehicles are most
likely to reach that customer. If your advertising person or committee makes
good choices, $40. is a great deal.

Sara O'Neill
Geometrix Clay Designs
www.geometrixclay.com
clay.music@verizon.net

kruzewski on wed 12 may 04


I am in a similar co-operative. The commitments are 30% commission, one day
in 22 manning the Gallery (there are 22 of us) and 10 a month "rent". We
all agreed on the terms before we set the co-op up - and it was based on
projected running costs and always being able to pay our bills.

Any publicity costs are taken out of the general funds. We have found that
advertising has very limited success. What brings the customers in and gets
them returning is running a good gallery with broad price range and good
quality work, along with staff who are always potters and happily discuss
the work or any other "pot" related subject and who are pleasant and
helpful. Our reputation is growing through word of mouth more than any
advertising - we do hardly any.

It depends on the way your co-operative was set up of course, but surely if
the board are raising your costs without general membership consultation you
all have the right to challenge those decisions. I would have thought that
if you all feel the advertising budget is excessive you should be able to
ask what effect the publicity you bought last year had on your visitors and
your sales, then vote for or against it.

$40 a year does not sound not sound a great deal of money but of course if
this sum goes up every year and the general membership are having no say
then it becomes a matter of principle. I would check your co-operative's
constitution and find out if your board has the right to do this. They
should be accountable.

Jacqui

North Wales


From: Joan Millette

I have been a member of a cooperative gallery in Wilmington, NC. for a few
years. Last year the steering committee decided to add a charge of $24 a
year for publicity without a cooperative vote. Now they want to raise it to
$40. Have any of you experienced these charges in you orgaization? What is
the effect of advertising do you think?